Facebook: Killing Comedy?
February 8, 2018 7:28 AM   Subscribe

 
I can't agree with this enough. But it's not just their prioritization engine - it's that they've engineered us to FIGHT over every single fucking thing. And the fun of putting out jokes, sharing ideas, etc., is really flattened when your Aunt Sharon can get into a political fight with your old roommate over something you were just sharing to screw around. Everyone's on edge, and it's seeped into live society and really dampened participation in actual life.

Signed: a comic in NYC who is so sick of this shit.
posted by chinese_fashion at 7:34 AM on February 8 [50 favorites]


Not just comedy. This model, where Facebook becomes the de facto publisher, but does not pay for content, has no accountability, has an oblique algorithm that cannot be counted on to push your content, and therefore you must pay to get your content in front of the eyes of the people who explicitly favorited and followed your content in order to see it?

It's killing publishing.
posted by maxsparber at 7:34 AM on February 8 [29 favorites]


I also find that if I pay Facebook 15 bucks to promote a show, I can count on about 12 likes, 11 of whom are from accounts that are not in the same country or even necessarily real human beings. This, despite careful location targeting.
posted by chinese_fashion at 7:40 AM on February 8 [13 favorites]


The nostalgia for the open web would be a bit more convincing if it didn't come from a site that boasts both an auto-playing audio ad that's hidden somewhere off the page so you can't mute it and some fucked up javascript (served through an ad network, because it went away when I turned on Ghostery) that made it so scrolling down just stopped working about halfway through the article. The problem is bigger than Facebook. The problem is ads poison everything they touch.
posted by enn at 7:57 AM on February 8 [58 favorites]


First, linking out would be great. It would at least get people back to normal websites. Remember when your fingers just remembered different URLs, and you would go to The New York Times, and The Onion, and Funny or Die? Now it’s less so. You type in Facebook or Twitter or Reddit and then you just sit there and passively take in this feed of what’s selected for you.

(sheds a tear for RSS)
posted by Jpfed at 8:05 AM on February 8 [52 favorites]


I still use RSS in two cases: to aggregate a small number of blogs which I haphazardly decided I wanted in my Dreamwidth feed, and to easily locate and download podcasts' audio files from websites that are otherwise annoyingly set up.
posted by inconstant at 8:08 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]


A friend of mine works on Mind Of A Chef and they made the awful decision to "broadcast" their latest season on Facebook, with predictably disastrous results. Like, who is going to go to Facebook to watch a show? That's what Netflix/Amazon/Hulu/Vudu/Broadcast TV/Cable are for.

The problem is the centralized web. People want information and the easier it is to get it, the better. Facebook has become the de facto homepage of a large portion of the world's internet using population essentially by consensus. It's like a mall with most of the stores you like and all of your friends and family are there, all the time. Sure, there are other places to go, but why bother?

And yes, yes, RSS!
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:08 AM on February 8 [8 favorites]


First they came for the comedians...
posted by PhineasGage at 8:10 AM on February 8 [3 favorites]


First, linking out would be great. It would at least get people back to normal websites. Remember when your fingers just remembered different URLs, and you would go to The New York Times, and The Onion, and Funny or Die?

Does the fact that I still do this make me an Old?
posted by leotrotsky at 8:10 AM on February 8 [51 favorites]


All this could be minimized if Facebook went back to having chronological sorting as the default. I know who won the superbowl because it was the first thing I checked when I woke up. By Tuesday night I still had BREAKING NEWS on my wall. I followed last night's game and have the club app to give me notifications on the score. Today, I have posts with the start of the game, half-time, goal and final whistle.

At this point, I use facebook for little more than messenger. I can't keep up with any page I follow because unless they're paying up (and I manage a page that gets occasional boosts - there's a big difference between weeks the owner boosts a post and weeks he doesn't) their posts get buried under 2 or 3 days worth of other pages paying up.
posted by lmfsilva at 8:18 AM on February 8 [12 favorites]


Wait I thought millenials were the ones killing everything?

Srlsy though Facebook is a toxic cesspool. I do make limited use of it because (as everyone knows) it's become the de facto method of communicating online with many people - when was the last time you had a conversation with friends or family over email?? - but mostly I post kid photos, using the native link buttons on iOS so I can send to Facebook without actually opening the Facebook app. Actually using the site? 5-10 minutes at a time, maybe 1 or 2 times a week, max, and that's it. My feed is 85% stupid reposted garbage, 10% memes, and 5% stuff my friends or family actually said, that I am interested in, but sorted such that I only ever see crap from 2 weeks ago instead of stuff from today. It's unusable. The most recent trend is my "favorite", where short tweet-length posts are being converted into images (???) because fuck you, accessibility, that's why I guess? Yes your message is so much more useful with a rainbow background or whatever? Couple that with the iOS app behavior of no longer allowing links out (open a link in FB app, it opens INSIDE the app - can't open in Safari any more so FB can track what you do) ... it is a shit interface and I can't understand why so many people are happy to put up with it.

tl;rd: Thank god for Metafilter.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:19 AM on February 8 [10 favorites]


He gets at something interesting here:

Facebook is the great de-contextualizer. There’s no more feeling of jumping into a whole new world on the internet anymore — everything looks exactly the same.

The problem is the personalization of the ads to the person. Not because it means that Facebook is spying on you, although that's bad as well. It's because Facebook doesn't care where you go on the Internet, besides it's web page. The ads remain the same whether the content you get is funny cat pictures, recipes, political commentary, or professionally created humor videos.

All this could be minimized if Facebook went back to having chronological sorting as the default.

Or at the very least let ME TURN THIS ON AND LEAVE IT ON! I feel like I am constantly fighting their website and app. I uninstalled the app after it would spam "Find more of your friends on Facebook!" 3 times a day as a notification and their was no way to turn that specific notification off.

There's a lot to be said for the failures of tech companies. Their hubris, their almost android like un-understanding of human nature, their blinkered dedication to free speech on their platforms. But I swear Facebook seems to be actually malicious to it's users at times.
posted by zabuni at 8:25 AM on February 8 [10 favorites]


People have been warning of the disasters effects of walled gardens for years. They started open --remember when Facebook would consume and produce RSS? -- but after each new order of magnitude in users they got less interested in being open.

If Google really wants Google+ to be the next Facebook killer (which, let's face it, that ship sailed and sunk) they should pull the open internet rug right out from underneath them. They won't. They're to interested in being in Facebook position.

And it's pretty sweet. They get to basically broadcast to 2 hoojilliom people. The pool they have for whatever psychological experimentation is massive and no ethics boards. Facebook makes TV look like radio.
posted by jonnay at 8:25 AM on February 8 [5 favorites]


Maybe it’s time to start thinking about paying for content the way we think about charitable donations. Something you should dedicate a certain % of your paycheck to, as a person who enjoys living in a digital world with quality content created by a diverse set of individuals. If there were more discerning dollars floating around, it would weaken the power of advertising in controlling what goes on online. Where would these dollars come from? Minimize your ad consumption, and therefore make fewer impulse purchases (obviously doesn’t apply to everyone, but there’s a reason why advertising is such big business).
posted by mantecol at 8:26 AM on February 8 [8 favorites]


> Wait I thought millenials were the ones killing everything?

I mean, Mark Zuckerburg is technically a Millennial...

Seriously though I would drop Facebook in a heartbeat if I wasn't involved in politics to some degree. It still is, for now, the best way to reach people and spread the word in my community.

To the point of this article, it remains infuriatingly obtuse unless it is extremely targeted because nobody will see our posts if they don't have three friends who consistently like our local county Dem page and share the posts.

FB has been a great tool for activism in the last year but it has created crazy headaches for many power users who get called bots because they are active in comments and cross-post to multiple groups. FB wants all its users to use it the exact same way and if you don't, it is designed to stop you.

It is a great shame that so much activism for worker's rights, economic justice, and political reform happens on this platform that is so slavishly indebted in toxic, capitalist underpinnings.

Maybe we should start redirecting our FB groups to good old fashion call chains. If you want to share something, you must talk to a person, or at the very least send them a text. But I don't know if staying on FB because its convenient is a good enough excuse any more.
posted by Tevin at 8:33 AM on February 8 [7 favorites]



Perhaps too reactionary and half-baked, but my initial thought is actually blaming the users are relying on centralized sites like facebook and twitter to get their information instead.

Yes, facebook not giving a cut of ad revenue to publishers is not ethical and they do deserve some criticism for that.

I guess I'm an old as well (only 31!) but I still have the handful of sites that I'll type in (or just click on in my list of bookmarks or my most visited list) or just start typing the url into my search bar (firefox displaying sites to autocomplete as you type the url) and complete the url.

I'm realizing as I type this though, that the way we consume content on the web is across multiple devices now (desktop browser at home, your browser at work, and your phone), so unless you sync your bookmarks and preferences and passwords for these sites (firefox does), another 3rd party service to organize this looks appealing to the user.

The average person thinks 'i can just install facebook or twitter on these devices and then be able to keep with my friends as well as my favorite shows, entertainment, news; that's easier than having to figure out this syncing with my browser and then also try to remember my favorite websites, oh, and also, I want to see content that's not necessarily made from my favorite original content producers, but hear about random stories about other people like me.
posted by fizzix at 8:35 AM on February 8 [3 favorites]


Maybe it’s time to start thinking about paying for content

The problem is, in a lot of cases the labour is a labour of love. Art, programming, music, writing... All of these are ways people can make money, but also have a giant pool of people who just want to do it for it's own sake.

Maybe it's time to divorce labor from capital and move to a post scarcity world?

I mean... We can both dream, right?

That said there are platforms like Patreon. The problem is they're platforms and will become another Facebook if given the opportunity.
posted by jonnay at 8:35 AM on February 8 [18 favorites]


Where CAN you find new or up-and-coming comedians these days? I used to have The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, @midnight, and Night Train with Wyatt Cenac, but those are all gone. Getting Doug with High only has stoners on it (of course) but lately he's been having more porn stars and less comedians on. Also Match Game is back and I've seen newer comedians on there, but that just means they're getting more famous, not that Match Game is giving a platform to young comics.

Also see re: the death of SeeSo.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:37 AM on February 8 [3 favorites]


Yesterday I heard the FWOOP of the Facebook Messenger app only to discover that it was a message from Facebook wanting money to share a post I made to my artist's page.

I had actually been considering boosting a post to help promote a recent line of occult t-shirts - my stuff is a niche of a niche and after experimenting, I've built a pretty decent targeting demo for people who would by a shirt based on my woodcut style piece of a hand of glory - but after getting that spam message I trashed my proposed campaign. Stop bugging me, Facebook.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:40 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]


I own and maintain a neighborhood group so I log in* to approve new memberships and do any necessary moderation every day but other than that, there's so little of interest on FB these days that I barely look at the rest of it. Most people seem to have given up posting status updates and just repost pictures and everyone is so scared of flame wars that there's no political discussions.

*I don't use the FB app and only log in using Chrome's incognito mode to reduce their ability to track me.
posted by octothorpe at 8:42 AM on February 8 [1 favorite]


That said there are platforms like Patreon. The problem is they're platforms and will become another Facebook if given the opportunity.
And no one makes a living on Patreon.
posted by smcameron at 8:46 AM on February 8 [5 favorites]


People talk about Facebook the way they used to about smoking; “I really should quit one of these days...” *rueful chuckle*
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:47 AM on February 8 [24 favorites]


I mean, Mark Zuckerburg is technically a Millennial...

I just saw The Social Network for the first time the other day and it made me want to not only delete my (barely used except for two groups, FB Purity'd, extremely confusing to their algorithms) Facebook account but also delete the entire internet and salt the earth the server farms sit upon.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:50 AM on February 8 [7 favorites]


I unfollowed every friend on Facebook except my wife and kids. I use it only for several private groups, and events. There really is no better place to find out what is happening in town each weekend. And Groups work well because Facebook isn't injecting stuff into the Group wall. It's just the posts made by group members. By unfollowing everybody, there is nothing on my wall to do distract me when I pop in to check on the weekend events in town. I do that and leave.
posted by COD at 8:52 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]


The problem is, in a lot of cases the labour is a labour of love. Art, programming, music, writing... All of these are ways people can make money, but also have a giant pool of people who just want to do it for it's own sake.

Maybe it's time to divorce labor from capital and move to a post scarcity world?


Or maybe we could get away from the cult of the amateur and respect labor.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:58 AM on February 8 [14 favorites]


I had a thought a couple of weeks back.

A great thing about Internet fora is that they let you meet people you wouldn't otherwise have gotten to know. When you go to a website about $THING, the main reason people show up is to talk about $THING so you get folks from everywhere. And you end up getting exposed to all kinds of different viewpoints: European $THING vs. North American $THING; various minority takes on $THING; Soviet-era Russian $THING. Which teaches you about other cultures, teaches you that the stuff you assumed was universal is not and teaches you that foreigners are basically just people (who are often also into $THING).

But on Facebook, $THING expands to "people I already know" so it turns into the Internet equivalent of never ever leaving the small town you grew up in. It's like Zuckerberg looked at the Internet and said, "How can I remove everything that is good from it?

In conclusion, Facebook is bad.
posted by suetanvil at 9:01 AM on February 8 [34 favorites]


There’s no more feeling of jumping into a whole new world on the internet anymore — everything looks exactly the same.

Responsive design. How to make a website look like crap on any device, just like all the other websites.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:06 AM on February 8 [6 favorites]


Matt Klinman, the comedy writer interviewed in the article, posted a Twitter thread yesterday in which he details a specific instance in which Facebook intentionally quashed a Funny or Die comedy piece because at the time they (FB) were about to launch their own native video platform (which was never communicated to any of the content providers relying on social media to spread their work.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:12 AM on February 8 [2 favorites]


I am not a businessperson, but I’m thinking of a new platform that you could join for a $30/month subscription fee. And the whole point of being on the platform is to give out those $30 to content creators. The platform would need to be philosophically against the mind-control and lowest-common-denominator and profit-driven stuff we’re seeing on other platforms. Rather, focused on creating tools to help subscribers find great (enjoyable, challenging, etc) content. And vice-versa, tools to help artists reach new fans. Similar to Patreon but it would be guaranteed to have $30 x Subscriber Count to distribute to content creators each month (minus a bit for overhead costs). I have no idea if it’s a viable business model, but it seems to fit in today’s weird world where people are (in my experience) much more OK with paying a lump sum subscription fee than they are with making a bunch of small purchases here and there.
posted by mantecol at 9:25 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]


I read you on the internet back in aught two
Sitting awake intent at surfing in on you
If I was young it didn't stop you coming through
Oh ha oh
They took the credit for your second act
Rewritten by machine on new technology
And now I understand the problems you can see
Oh ha oh
I met your children
Oh ha oh
What did you tell them?
Zuckerberg killed the comedy star
Zuckerberg killed the comedy star
Newfeeds came and broke your heart
Oh, ha, ha, ha, oh
And now we meet in an abandoned fan room
We read the archives and it seems so long ago
And you remember the reviewers used to go
Oh-ha oh
You were the first one
Oh-ha oh
You were the last one
Zuckerberg killed the comedy star
Zuckerberg killed the comedy star
In my mind and in my blog, we can't rewind we've gone too far
Oh-ha-haho oh
Oh-ha-haho oh
Zuckerberg killed the comedy star
Zuckerberg killed the comedy star
In my mind and in my blog, we can't rewind we've gone too far
Newsfeeds came and broke your heart
Put down the blame on Millenials
Oh, you are a comedy star
Oh, you were a comedy star (repeat to fade)
posted by waving at 9:32 AM on February 8 [26 favorites]


The problem is ads poison everything they touch.

If you go on YouTube right now and check out the "Live" category, you'll see a bunch of live feeds of the Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster in space. Yesterday the live feeds were topping the main YouTube trending list.

Which is interesting, because today's the 8th, and the car cameras quit broadcasting the evening of the 6th. Turns out people aren't just re-uploading the video to their channels, they're actually going out of their way to stream it back to YouTube as a live stream so people think they're still watching a car in space live, so that the channel can overlay their own ads on the stream (seriously, there's little pop ups like it's CBS advertising the next sitcom) and presumably get also it monetized on YouTube.

Humanity launched a car in space and people are going out of their way to lie about it to make money.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:37 AM on February 8 [31 favorites]


"If you want a vision of the future, imagine an algorithm stomping on a human face - forever."
posted by Beholder at 9:38 AM on February 8 [14 favorites]


"If you want a vision of the future, imagine watch a stream of an algorithm stomping on a human face, with ads inserted every 10 minutes - forever."

FTFY
posted by FJT at 10:05 AM on February 8 [19 favorites]


This seems to me like facebook salting the earth. (Full disclosure: I haven't been on facebook for 8 years so I don't know what its deal is.) But if they're going to keep changing the rules and making it difficult for anyone to make any money on their platform, what happens when no creators are stepping up to their platform? They hope that the tepid remaining creations attract eyeballs because there is nowhere else to go? Eventually this model will burn itself out, right? Problem is I don't know what we'll be left with.


elsietheel, the podcast Put Your Hands Together features up and coming comedians. They are on feral audio and their actual website has been down lately, but I think the actual podcast is still updating.

The hosts are Rhea Butcher and Camerson Esposito. They do a great job featuring inclusive comics, so you don't have to hear some guy with a bunch of jokes about his nagging wife or whatever.
posted by Emmy Rae at 10:12 AM on February 8 [3 favorites]


Wait... there was an internet comedy scene?
posted by jeff-o-matic at 10:24 AM on February 8 [1 favorite]


kinda sounds like someone needs to go and start a podcast instead of still grieving for Funny or Die. podcasts are like a rich sea of weird wacky niche shit that you can turn up just by searching key terms on most apps. Asian American comedy? yeah, here's five shows. oh that guest on that one niche podcast that you like? yeah, she's also been on these podcast episodes, have a listen and see if you like them and sure, why don't you drop some money in their Patreon or buy their merchandise

the only walled garden for that right now is iTunes bullshittery but Apple has always been a content platform manipulator and it's a lot of the reason why some people don't buy their products or use their platforms
posted by runt at 10:29 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]


Bunch of people complaining about Facebook and saying they never use it, except for the times they do

Say, has anyone heard the one about the guy who's brother thinks he's a chicken?
posted by happyroach at 10:31 AM on February 8


Reading this makes me wonder if it's possible to code a website so that it checks if you are currently logged into Facebook and if so pop up a message:
"Sorry to read any of this content, you will first have to logout of Facebook, it's for your own good."
posted by Lanark at 10:33 AM on February 8 [16 favorites]


kinda sounds like someone needs to go and start a podcast instead of still grieving for Funny or Die. podcasts are like a rich sea of weird wacky niche shit that you can turn up just by searching key terms on most apps. Asian American comedy? yeah, here's five shows. oh that guest on that one niche podcast that you like? yeah, she's also been on these podcast episodes, have a listen and see if you like them and sure, why don't you drop some money in their Patreon or buy their merchandise

Oh look, it's the new version of "musicians should be selling t-shirts". As was pointed out above, barely anyone is actually making a living via Patreon, and "sell merchandise" is not an answer to "Facebook is making it near impossible for us to actually make money via our work."
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:38 AM on February 8 [14 favorites]


The two people I can think of making a living via Patreon is Amanda Palmer and to my horror, festering new poster boy for white alt-right males Jordan B. Peterson, former UofT prof. He makes about 70K via that site, in addition to all these media appearances.

Edited to add: he has turned off the transparency option on Patreon after his page was uncovered by journalists.
posted by Kitteh at 10:55 AM on February 8 [3 favorites]


Nice shout-out to Homestar Runner.
posted by Bob Regular at 11:01 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]


Oh look, it's the new version of "musicians should be selling t-shirts".

not really but sure. I'm thinking like Kishi Bashi and his rise from a local player to a Kickstarted career to him now playing shows around the world. bands are moving now to online presences combined with self-promotion instead of just 'playing gigs a lot and selling merch there to the 20 people who show up.' you sell merch now and you're selling to all the people who click through your site - it's something that bands are intentionally moving to get out from under the trap of major labels

there's also entire podcast networks like Maximum Fun that are 1) growing, 2) completely publicly funded, and 3) feature established creators who also give platforms to up-and-coming folks. the brothers McElroy were virtual nobodies and they've built their entire presence on podcasting such that this fanbase is an asset to their work at Polygon

which is to say - there seem to be lots of people thriving in producing independent digital content that are completely supported by their fanbase besides Amanda Palmer and Nazis. Facebook makes it harder for people attached to older, pre-internet-as-the-default-culture institutions to make a living but the internet, as a whole, is not dominated by Facebook by any means. Facebook sucks but to say it's the death of 'independent digital comedy' is an overblown, narrow point of view that is ironically too attached to Facebook as a platform
posted by runt at 11:11 AM on February 8 [6 favorites]


I am not a businessperson, but I’m thinking of a new platform that you could join for a $30/month subscription fee. And the whole point of being on the platform is to give out those $30 to content creators. The platform would need to be philosophically against the mind-control and lowest-common-denominator and profit-driven stuff we’re seeing on other platforms. Rather, focused on creating tools to help subscribers find great (enjoyable, challenging, etc) content. And vice-versa, tools to help artists reach new fans. Similar to Patreon but it would be guaranteed to have $30 x Subscriber Count to distribute to content creators each month (minus a bit for overhead costs). I have no idea if it’s a viable business model, but it seems to fit in today’s weird world where people are (in my experience) much more OK with paying a lump sum subscription fee than they are with making a bunch of small purchases here and there.

Something very similar to the subscription-model publishing platform you describe already exists, and it's called Substack. It's still in beta, but they just opened sign-ups to the public a couple of days ago. Writers can choose to offer free or paid subscriptions, and they can set their own prices for their periodicals starting at $5/month. No advertising anywhere. I happened to stumble across their site a few days before they opened their virtual doors, and I realized right away that they're onto something. I'm impressed enough by their business model that I actually wrote the founders a spontaneous letter thanking them for what they're doing for readers and writers. I hope they'll eventually add a discovery tool/search function and allow writers to tag their posts by keyword. I'm already in the midst of moving my Patreon content over to Substack. I recommend reading through the posts on their blog: On Substack.
posted by velvet winter at 11:16 AM on February 8 [5 favorites]


festering new poster boy for white alt-right males Jordan B. Peterson, former UofT prof.

Here's a nice recent critique of Peterson.
posted by thelonius at 11:16 AM on February 8 [3 favorites]


I'm thinking like Kishi Bashi and his rise from a local player to a Kickstarted career to him now playing shows around the world.

It would be better if you gave an example that wasn't a of Montreal member during the kickstarter, because that's one hell of advantage not everyone has.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:34 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]


not really but sure. I'm thinking like Kishi Bashi and his rise from a local player to a Kickstarted career to him now playing shows around the world. bands are moving now to online presences combined with self-promotion instead of just 'playing gigs a lot and selling merch there to the 20 people who show up.' you sell merch now and you're selling to all the people who click through your site - it's something that bands are intentionally moving to get out from under the trap of major labels

there's also entire podcast networks like Maximum Fun that are 1) growing, 2) completely publicly funded, and 3) feature established creators who also give platforms to up-and-coming folks. the brothers McElroy were virtual nobodies and they've built their entire presence on podcasting such that this fanbase is an asset to their work at Polygon


This sort of thing is nothing new. Creators have been doing these sorts of things for a very long time now, long before the rise of the internet. (Look up the history of United Artists some time, for one example.) In fact, your comment of "just 'playing gigs a lot and selling merch there to the 20 people who show up.'" is incredibly insulting to generations of creative individuals.

which is to say - there seem to be lots of people thriving in producing independent digital content that are completely supported by their fanbase besides Amanda Palmer and Nazis.

Where's the evidence for this? As it's been pointed out, the vast majority of people on Patreon aren't even making the federal minimum wage, let alone 'thriving'.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:39 AM on February 8 [3 favorites]


I never knew people went to Facebook's building to air personal grievances. I want more of that story.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 12:01 PM on February 8 [19 favorites]


People talk about Facebook the way they used to about smoking; “I really should quit one of these days...” *rueful chuckle*

I'm only a social user. I can quit any time.
posted by daybeforetheday at 12:03 PM on February 8 [9 favorites]


Facebook is a malignant cancer on society in pretty much every way I can conceive of, but

Everyone's on edge, and it's seeped into live society and really dampened participation in actual life.

With respect to comedy? The comedy scene in general should be a little on edge. I still go to comedy shows where I hear a male comedian tell a graphic story about a woman getting sexually assaulted just to make a point about how cool he is, or perform an entire bit about how he came inside a woman even after she’d expressly said she did not want that where the joke is how “crazy” she was afterwards

So, you know

Maybe male comedians should be a little “on edge”
posted by schadenfrau at 12:06 PM on February 8 [23 favorites]


Those are two separate comedians btw

Just off the top of my head
posted by schadenfrau at 12:06 PM on February 8 [4 favorites]


In the New York scene, in case that wasn’t clear

There are improvements — Hell yeah I’m glad Aparna and Maeve took over douchey Wyatt Cenac’s Monday night show — but in general...Jesus Christ, I’m on edge every time a male comedian takes the mic
posted by schadenfrau at 12:08 PM on February 8 [5 favorites]


Or maybe we could get away from the cult of the amateur and respect labor.

I mean... No? It seems like it would be easier to install fully automated luxury gay space communism.

How can we realistically get everyone to "respect labour" if even the creators don't want to? Some don't feel like charging for their output... I mean does every fan fic need to have a price attached to it?
posted by jonnay at 12:30 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


Well, for one, we could stop worshipping amateurism. The problem isn't that some creators aren't seeking remuneration, but that there's a societal belief that the ones that don't are somehow more morally correct.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:44 PM on February 8 [9 favorites]


jonnay, I hadn't seen this phrase before! I may use "fully automated luxury gay space communism" as a screen name.
posted by Gor-ella at 12:46 PM on February 8


How can we realistically get everyone to "respect labour" if even the creators don't want to? Some don't feel like charging for their output... I mean does every fan fic need to have a price attached to it?
Respect isn't necessarily about money -- fanfic writers certainly yearn for recognition, engagement, etc. Interestingly, even in fannish communities there occasionally pops up someone chastising writers for caring about attention/feedback/whatever -- prescriptive "you should be doing it FOR THE LOVE" in another form.

That being said, I also don't see how yearning for a moneyless post-scarcity utopia is somehow "disrespecting labor".
posted by inconstant at 12:48 PM on February 8


Or "worshipping amateurism".
posted by inconstant at 12:48 PM on February 8


Of course I’m on board with anyone who says “Let’s go back to Homestar Runner”

Lately, events have been showing up on my fb feed after they’ve taken place. These are bands, comics, promoters and venues that I’ve ‘liked’ or followed so I can go to these things. If I was a business owner I would be pissed. Like, there should be lawsuits.
posted by rodlymight at 12:49 PM on February 8 [9 favorites]


Podcasts (themselves hard to monetize for the makers of) are in no way a replacement for all comedy producers.
posted by agregoli at 1:01 PM on February 8 [6 favorites]


Individuals can get successful doing anything, but that doesn't mean whatever they're doing is actually a sustainable model for most people. Besides, the issue at hand here is that a major platform has enormous control over content distribution and is making it way more difficult to even connect to a fanbase. This is an internet monopoly problem, not a "plenty of people can make money off their fanbase, so why not you" problem.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:10 PM on February 8 [7 favorites]


Lately, events have been showing up on my fb feed after they’ve taken place.

Seriously. The worst example I found was when the day after a visit to NYC, Facebook notified me that there was a gallery opening / exhibit that fit my interests... that happened the night before, three blocks from my hotel, around the same time I was actively looking on Facebook for an activity or show to drop in to.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:13 PM on February 8 [9 favorites]


I'm late to the thread, but there were some comments up above about ordering thing chronologically. Facebook still edits this list. There are items that do not show up in the most recent stories. I've been sending bug reports almost every time I use facebook and marking the issue as unresolved when the ticket is closed. I'm pretty sure this is happening to everyone, it's just that the people who always use most recent don't realize that their feed is being edited.

Part of what is killing sites like FOD is that people think they are sticking it to facebook by using most recent when really they are partaking in an equally curated feed, just one arranged chronologically. So when FOD doesn't pay facebook to show its content, the FOD material gets buried.

If you do use facebook, check it out. See if all the recent posts from top are actually showing.
posted by Hactar at 1:15 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


In the New York scene, in case that wasn’t clear.

What exactly is the deal with the NYC comedy scene, anyway? For an avowedly liberal, cosmopolitan city it sure seems like some of the most toxically racist, misogynist, and homophobic comedians tend to thrive there.

posted by Atom Eyes at 1:21 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


Facebook makes it harder for people attached to older, pre-internet-as-the-default-culture institutions to make a living but the internet, as a whole, is not dominated by Facebook by any means.

Facebook controls ~30% of traffic to publishers. (Down from 40% this time last year). Facebook and Google between them control over 70%.

Facebook and google between them provide 5% of publisher's revenue.

I happen to be on my phone at the moment; to copy that link I had to take three extra steps to get it to appear in my address bar. Otherwise I would have never left Google's site.
posted by Diablevert at 1:21 PM on February 8 [13 favorites]


What exactly is the deal with the NYC comedy scene, anyway? For an avowedly liberal, cosmopolitan city it sure seems like some of the most toxically racist, misogynist, and homophobic comedians tend to thrive there.

I think it’s the clique of club owners and extremely successful / powerful NY comedians who have kind of decided who’s funny and worth giving stage time to, over the years

I wanna say there was a documentary about it? (The table, or something.) But it’s really easy for a small group of people wielding disproportionate power and influence to go bad. Small groups are pretty susceptible to the toxicity of just a few people, and, well...think about who’s gotten famous out of NY over the last however many years
posted by schadenfrau at 1:46 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


Yesterday I heard the FWOOP of the Facebook Messenger app only to discover that it was a message from Facebook wanting money to share a post I made to my artist's page.

In the immortal words of Dorothy Parker, what fresh hell is this? The final straw for me deleting my Facebook account (on top of things like The Algorithm and selling my country out to the Russians) was that I would sometimes get Facebook messages from real life friends even though they had my phone number and email address, and Facebook mandates participation in their messaging system. No, I wasn't about to install a second bloated app that wanted huge updates every week just so I might read these infrequent messages, or deal with the rude experience of trying to get to the message by accessing Facebook via a mobile web browser (try that sometime if you are feeling masochistic). If Facebook abused this further by sending me a corporate notification asking for money? FUUUUCK
posted by exogenous at 2:06 PM on February 8 [4 favorites]


...and yet people still use Facebook, is what I don’t understand. Delete account!
posted by eustacescrubb at 2:22 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


What exactly is the deal with the NYC comedy scene, anyway?

If you want to see some great comedy in NYC that’s not racist/misogynist/homophonic/transphobic etc, I highly recommend The Ranger Zone.
posted by eustacescrubb at 2:26 PM on February 8 [5 favorites]


...and yet people still use Facebook, is what I don’t understand. Delete account!

Yeah, so I can fall out of contact with most of my younger friends who don’t email Or phonecall or even text because they think it’s too personal...

Oh, and have no way to know about my local charity events because they don’t post anywhere else...

AND lose massive amounts of income as a freelancer because people would rather message me on Facebook than email for some reason.

Leaving Facebook has become a privilege. It’s horrifying, but it’s not the users who are at fault. Facebook has create a culture that actively punishes those who don’t tow the line. I “can’t leave” not because I’m addicted to facebook, but because like it or not much of our culture is built around it. That’s on Zuckerburg and his goons.
posted by InkDrinker at 2:36 PM on February 8 [26 favorites]


I'm pretty much getting forced into using Facebook these days because some people simply refuse to communicate in any other way.
Last night at a meeting one guy asked if we could move our mailing list to Facebook and I said no, but I know darned well I am going to be outvoted by everyone else.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:46 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


Leaving Facebook has become a privilege.

I mean, there's a balance here. We need to understand people's social contexts and their reasons for using Facebook. A simple "delete your account" is not going to cut it really. This to me is a lot like "you criticise capitalism and yet you own an iPhone checkmate". Like I live on a tiny rock in the North Atlantic, most of my friends live overseas, and this medium is great for being able to communicate with them. I also use it professionally; it's great for reaching new contacts, establishing channels of communication, and keeping track of social and political events as they unfold. There are also numerous groups I participate in that cover everything from Twin Peaks shitposting to analysis and discussion of anarchist-communist praxis. It's a medium and a tool.

I wouldn't say people are permanently locked in - I take regular breaks from Facebook, and I think it's healthy to do so. But I also think it's important to recognize the spectrum of nuance regarding how and why people are on Facebook. This is not mutually exclusive with criticising its business model and pressuring them to respond meaningfully.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 2:58 PM on February 8 [8 favorites]


Yeah, so I can fall out of contact with most of my younger friends who don’t email Or phonecall or even text because they think it’s too personal...

There's something that I'm finding very disturbing about this sentence. I think it's the thought of having friends who want to keep me at such arms length that they don't feel comfortable having any sort of communications with me that aren't publicly visible and archived/searchable.. I just... shudder.
posted by some loser at 2:59 PM on February 8 [4 favorites]


but because like it or not much of our culture is built around it
It's not like that culture is new. I had to join Facebook back in 2010 because I was wiriting a blog post on Record Store Day activities, and a few stores told me on person to check their facebook page.

Considering a lot of people are only on facebook because of messenger, I wonder if the people at Google are regretting ditching the popular, XMPP-friendly GTalk over Hangouts, that I barely used despite being a default app on my phone.
posted by lmfsilva at 3:10 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]


Yesterday I heard the FWOOP of the Facebook Messenger app only to discover that it was a message from Facebook wanting money to share a post I made to my artist's page.

I'm kind of in favor Twitter's recent attempts at training me to ignore notifications.
posted by straight at 4:08 PM on February 8


There's something that I'm finding very disturbing about this sentence. I think it's the thought of having friends who want to keep me at such arms length that they don't feel comfortable having any sort of communications with me that aren't publicly visible and archived/searchable.. I just... shudder.

there's something i find disturbing about watching someone on the internet take the absolute least charitable view about another actual living breathing human being's relationships with other living breathing human beings using commonly accessible communication technologies that hundreds of millions of people use around the globe and, like, use the assumptions they're making as a weapon to hurt someone else in the service of scoring a point in an internet argument.

straight up, that's just fucking ugly as hell.
posted by palomar at 5:31 PM on February 8 [16 favorites]


I guess this means that editors and publishers have been mostly automated away. It's not something I would've anticipated; editorial judgement is one of the most complex and human skills we have, calling on all of our experience and knowledge of other people to decide what's well-written, what's worthwhile, what's entertaining, what's good. I would've expected it to be a job that robots would suck at.

...and it sounds like robots do suck at it, but they've managed to mostly replace the humans who used to do the job anyway.
posted by clawsoon at 6:30 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]


I don't know how to put this without sounding both stupid and condescending: I'm an Older, and, until today, I have never clicked on the left-hand side of the Facebook page where it says "news" and "watch." I just converse with friends, some of whom provide links (mostly leftist). When I want news, I go to news sites, when I want arts/culture info, I have plenty of those bookmarked. I'm trying to understand how Facebook levels out the culture through its ad habits, but I don't click on ads, either, so I'm not getting it, because of my personal internet habits, I guess.
posted by kozad at 7:58 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


I think it's the thought of having friends who want to keep me at such arms length that they don't feel comfortable having any sort of communications with me that aren't publicly visible and archived/searchable.. I just... shudder.

Well you can DM people on FB, so not all communication there is public. But beyond that you're inventing very elaborate and creative motivations for people you don't know who may just not like talking on the phone or writing emails.

I mean, I don't use FB a ton, but I loathe talking on the phone, and sometimes work has me so swamped with email I can't face any more of it, even socially. Neither of those things has anything to do with how I feel about my friends.
posted by mrmurbles at 8:10 PM on February 8 [7 favorites]


I mean... No? It seems like it would be easier to install fully automated luxury gay space communism.

Team Expropriate Everything

I have a guideline, though, that you shouldn't do anything for free that makes somebody else money - which is more than a little complicated in reality on the internet.
posted by atoxyl at 10:58 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


Leaving Facebook has become a privilege.

Having Facebook at all is a privilege. Reliable internet access, owning a device to access it, and having the free time to use it are all privileges.

But Facebook has definitely redefined the meanings of both “privilege” and “friend”...

I definitely lost contact with “friends” once I deleted, but on reflection they were acquaintances at best. Before I deleted I announced it, and after I began writing emails/calling people I missed when I felt that “I wonder how so-and-so is” that used to send me to their FB/Twitter/IG (I deleted them all). Here’s what I learned: most people LOVE letters and will write you back.

I definitely miss a bunch of stuff related to local poetry because some venues/shows only use FB to announce but I have found myself with much more time to do the things I used to do pre-2007 that I love doing: reading, writing, making music, exercising. So I came out better in the end.
posted by eustacescrubb at 12:30 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I have a guideline, though, that you shouldn't do anything for free that makes somebody else money seems like a heuristic that'll prune away a lot of potentially cool hobbies.

No gardening, singing, dancing, photography, drawing, writing.... I mean, Calvinists have more fun!
posted by jonnay at 6:31 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


If I was on a "make money" level, I probably wouldn't price my albums at just €3 (or give them away if asked). Since nobody is going "well, that Twin Sprawl guy is all the electronic music I'm going to listen forever", there's absolutely zero impact on me releasing stuff almost for free on their bottom line, except maybe less 0.0000000001 cents from a couple people who aren't listening to them on Spotify because of me.

Plus, there's a difference between someone creating stuff because they want to (like music, books, fan posters, etc) and severely undercutting professionals on sites like Fiverr. I do what I want with my music, if some rando wants a jingle, an album cover or some other commissioned work, I ain't doing it for "free" or "exposure".
posted by lmfsilva at 6:58 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Plus, there's a difference between someone creating stuff because they want to (like music, books, fan posters, etc) and severely undercutting professionals on sites like Fiverr. I do what I want with my music, if some rando wants a jingle, an album cover or some other commissioned work, I ain't doing it for "free" or "exposure".

And that's part of the problem - culturally, we've placed the giveaway of creative labor on a pedestal. We need to stop doing that, and acknowledge that creative professionals do have a right to demand compensation for their labor.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:54 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty much getting forced into using Facebook these days because some people simply refuse to communicate in any other way.

My crackpot mother nags me about this all the time. "You need to get on Facebook!" and "I never get to talk to you any more!" are in heavy rotation on her playlist.

Well, Ma, my address, my landline number and my cell number haven't changed in 17 years. My main email hasn't changed in over a decade. My wife is on Facebook and is contactable that way, which you have done many times. If you need to get a message to me or just want to talk, _those ways all still work._

"But you need to get on Facebook! I never get to talk to you any more!"

Sigh.

also, Ma, you do not want me commenting on posts on your wall about how Sarah Palin should be President, I PROMISE YOU THAT
posted by delfin at 12:56 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


No gardening, singing, dancing, photography, drawing, writing.... I mean, Calvinists have more fun!

I think you may have misinterpreted what I meant by that sentence. I don't mean "don't do anything for free that somebody else might get paid to do." I mean don't do anything for free if somebody else is getting paid off you doing it for free. Which I can't say I succeed in following 100 percent - it's just my sorta bullshit detector for this stuff.

If the context of my comment wasn't clear I'm probably significantly closer to your position than Nox's on this sort of thing overall. I don't mean in the sense that I think it's morally superior not to ask for money for your artistic work - on an individual level that's not really a moral decision that concerns me one way or the other. It's more of a big-picture conviction, as guy who came up in the OiNK/What.cd era of file sharing, that if you really do think art is valuable you have to concede it is tremendously and inherently good if people have free access to to a huge swath of it. And then as an amateur recording musician I have a variety of opinions about the ups and downs of that that I could get into, about the barriers to entry, about how people who don't have a good day job like I do can possibly make it as artists in the 21st century and what can be done about that.

But anyway one point Nox makes a lot that I do think is a good one is that there are a lot of people sneakily making money off of "free" - at different degrees of remove - so if you really do believe in "free" you have to understand they aren't your friends. That's really what I was getting at with my previous comment.
posted by atoxyl at 2:37 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Oh geez, delfin I get the same thing from my cousins. Why aren't you on Facebook anymore? Why don't you ever come to visit anymore? We miss you, we haven't talked to you in ages!

I got tired of being the one doing the heavy lifting in our friendship. I lived in the same house for 40 years. My mom still has the same phone number that she's had for 40 years. My grandma has lived in the same house since it was built in 1958. I haven't changed my phone number in 10 years, my email address in 14. I'm not hard to find. Why do I always have to reach out to you or come see you but you never reciprocate?

Especially when you're the one with tons of disposable income and YOUR OWN EFFING PLANE.

Somehow I don't think Facebook is going to fix our relationships.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:46 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


"If you climb on this life raft, we'll all sink!", shout the established professionals. And while they're correct, it's hard to begrudge the people in the water for latching on to that raft, especially when many of the people in the raft are both pulling up the ladders behind themselves and also opposing other rescue measures (like universal health care).
posted by Pyry at 4:02 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


it's become the de facto method of communicating online with many people

If we can't get it together to end Facebook's tyranny then we are truly a sorry species. Just stop using it. It's not like anyone's life actually depends upon this service.
posted by she's not there at 2:09 PM on February 10


Comedy movies don't do well in a global marketplace. We have billion-dollar blockbuster action films. Comedy movies - because they're damn hard to translate - make maybe 1/20th of that at very best.

Is Facebook in this case a further symptom of that, or is this something different?
posted by talldean at 3:38 PM on February 14


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